If you feel like you spend too much time cleaning the house, you’re not alone. A 2020 survey found that Americans spend almost a full 24 hours cleaning their homes each month.

When you devote nearly an hour a day to maintaining your home, you want to make the most of your time. But house cleaning opportunities start popping up all over the place once you start looking for them, and it’s easy to take on more than you need.

Tidying is always a chore, and we want you to get back to doing what you love while still getting the high-quality clean you deserve. Get amazing results and save yourself some time each month with this complete rulebook for maintenance cleaning.

What Is Maintenance Cleaning?

Before we get into the rulebook, we need to clarify the line between deep cleaning vs. regular cleaning.

Regular maintenance cleaning involves daily and weekly cleaning chores that contribute to the look and function of the rooms around your house. It gets your surfaces uncluttered and shining, making your house more enjoyable for you, your family, and guests.

Deep cleaning is a dive into the nitty-gritty cleaning opportunities that you don’t always see. A maintenance cleaning may involve vacuuming the rug, for example, but a deep clean means shampooing it from end to end. A deep clean removes the most dirt, dust, allergens, and other contaminants to create the freshest, healthiest environment possible.

A deep clean should be done about twice a month if you do it yourself. Because cleaning services use more powerful and lasting solutions, you can often go a few months between professional deep cleans.

Room-by-Room: The Maintenance Cleaning Checklist

Now that you know what maintenance cleaning entails, you’ll have a general idea of what should be cleaned daily and what can wait for a special deep cleaning day. Let’s see what opportunities you’ll commonly find throughout the house during your maintenance cleaning routine.

Living Room

As the center of the action for the whole family, the living room often needs the most work. Make sure you hit these essential spots during regular house cleaning:

  • Dust shelves, electronics, and tables
  • Vacuum/sweep
  • Clean clutter
  • Vacuum furniture

Pay attention to your blinds, fan, and corners of walls. These collect a ton of dust, and when it gets on blinds and fan blades, it can get stuck fast. You may not have to get them with every cleaning, but give them attention if the dust is getting noticeable.


The kitchen demands the most daily care. When you’re ready to do your maintenance cleaning, try to focus on these crucial areas:

  • Clean counters, range, and sink
  • Wipe down the microwave
  • Sweep and mop floors
  • Wash dishes
  • Dust cabinets and range hood

Leaving food debris around your sinks, counters, and floors can create some foul aromas and invite unwanted pests. Make sure to seal your food and clean your counters and sinks at the end of every day.


A messy bathroom is off-putting for guests, and it gets harder to clean the more you put it off. Maintain your bathroom with the following regular cleaning tasks:

  • Wash mats and shower curtains
  • Clean mirrors and shower glass
  • Wipe down tile and sinks
  • Scrub the toilet bowl

It’s a good idea to dust regularly in the bathroom as well. Dust sticks out like a sore thumb on light-colored and smooth bathroom surfaces, so a quick dusting while you do the rest of your cleaning can do wonders for appearances.


Bedrooms are private, so if you want to cut yourself some slack when it’s time to clean, this is your opportunity. Still, there are a few simple tasks that can have an enormous impact on how your bedroom looks and feels:

  • Make bed
  • Clean clutter
  • Vacuum/sweep
  • Dust furniture

You may want to include some organization in your maintenance cleaning. Dressers and closets can get out of hand quickly when you’re rushing to get the day started, so tidying up might make the morning easier.

Maintenance Cleaning Rules for Fast Results

Even though it’s not a deep clean, you should still be as thorough as possible with your regular maintenance cleaning. Overlooked dirty patches can quickly ruin an otherwise clean-looking room.

Still, being thorough doesn’t mean you have to spend half your day getting your house clean. We’ve gone over regular cleaning tips before, but here are a few more to make your job a little easier.

Start Big, End Small

A simple rule, starting with large items and ending small is a good cleaning pattern to make it more efficient. That means starting with clutter, like clothes, toys, and anything else out of place. While you’re cleaning, this is a good time to donate, recycle, or trash any old, worn, or unused items.

After you de-clutter, you can move to sweeping and counter-clearing. That means any visible debris, dirt, or trash on your surfaces needs to be swept off.

Once your counters and floors are cleared, you can attack microbes and stains with your cleaners. By going big to small, you won’t ruin get your cleaning materials overly dirty by picking up large bits of debris.

Start High, End Low

The pull of gravity makes starting high and ending low the practical approach to cleaning. Start with the cobwebs in the corners of ceilings and work down to blinds, bookshelves, tables, and finally the floor.

Spray All of Your Surfaces, Then Wipe

Leaving cleaning spray to sit on surfaces allows it to break up grime and makes it much easier to wipe down surfaces. To save you time waiting on sprays to do their thing, hit all of the surfaces you intend to clean and then go back through to wipe them down. Doing so will give the cleaner at least a minute or two to work, and any stuck-on gunk will wipe right off.

Keep the Essentials

DIY cleaners are effective, safe, and simple. Using the following essentials in clever combinations, you can create powerful cleaning solutions for any room:

  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Lemon
  • Borax

These materials can be used to clean everything from stained clothes to hard water buildup on sinks. You should keep heavy-duty cleaners like bleach on hand for cleaning time, but these items will give you options in a pinch.

Clean Smarter, Not Harder

You can’t escape the need to clean, but you can make it easier with some game-planning. By following this rulebook on routine cleaning, you’ll keep your house looking and feeling incredible day in and day out.

Cleaning should be as easy as possible, and sometimes that means having somebody else do it! When you’re ready for a deep clean, or if you just need a break from regular cleaning, contact our team at No More Chores to book an appointment.